Glory To God In The Highest

Christ Is Christmas Series

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Sermon Notes: Luke 2:8-14 (KJV) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. [9] And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. [10] And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

8:30 AM Audio: 

Every year most people send Christmas cards. I am told that 1.8 BILLION cards are delivered every year. Many of those cards have the words …

Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

None of the cards express the main reason why God should be glorified, or why there should be peace on earth and good will toward men. The Angel concluded his message with these words because the One in the Manger is the Only One Who can bring

Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The Angel when he brought these good tidings of great Joy. Mankind was wallowing in sin and in death, and God tossed man a life rope. Jesus Christ came into this world not as an Angel, but He was made lower than the angels.

Hebrews 2:7 (NKJV) You {O God} have made {Jesus} a little lower than the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor, And set him over the works of Your hands.

Jesus Christ was made lower than the Angels. Why?

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death

Hebrews 2:16-17 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. {17} Wherefore in all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

The angels praised God, saying “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”, even though “God spared not the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell” (2 Peter 2:4). These “ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Hebrews 1:14) focused on a tiny Baby that lay in a manger and praised the Lord. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”.

God did a new thing, a prophetic thing, a wondrous thing.
God “did a new thing.
God made a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19)
.
Where death ruled, life came to conquer in Christ.
Christ came to give Himself for you.
He left the splendor of Heaven to come to earth.
He was born to die.
He Who made all things was “made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Jesus Christ is the Reason for this season, the center of the mark.

Glorify God For His Great Love

Luke 2:14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

As the angels praised God – “Glory to God in the highest” – they praised with wonder in their voices. They were amazed at that which God was doing. Man is a fallen race. God allowed man free will from his creation, from the very Garden of God. Man had absolute freedom to serve the Lord in a place where there was absolute and perfect peace. And yet man abused that free will – and we abuse it yet today. The most often question that I am asked is

How can a holy and loving God allow so much suffering in this evil old world?

It was by our free will that suffering came into the world. The Scripture declares “by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Romans 5:12). Adam, given the capacity for free will, chose to do the evil. He chose to follow Satan in disobedience, and chose to neglect the Will of His Creator. Adam, created to rule and reign with God, chose to be enslaved by Satan rather than the Lord Who loved him. Adam took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of death. The gift of God given him was abused, and God had every right to destroy Adam, this earth, and all. Yet God did not. The Scripture declares …

Ephesians 1:4 According as He {God the Father} hath chosen us in Him {God the Son} before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love …

How can man go from out of control sinner to Saint, to child of Adam to Child of God. It is by that Baby in the Manger, that Child of Nazareth, that beautiful Jesus Who is the …

Revelation 13:8 … Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Before the first star was made, God knew. Before the Lord uttered the words “Let there be light” and there was light (Genesis 1:3), God knew. God the Father knew that He would have to send His only Begotten Son. God the Son knew that He would have to come to this earth – leaving the splendor of Heaven – and take upon Himself the likeness of sinful man.

Suffering is terrible – but can you imagine how terrible upcoming suffering must be?

Jesus knew before the foundation of the world that He would have to die a terrible death for our sins. And yet He came to Bethlehem anyway. He came to die for you and for me.

Glory to God in the Highest! Glory to His Name!

1 Peter 1:18-19 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; {19} But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot ….

but do you know the following context, which reads:

1 Peter 1:20 Who verily was foreordained BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was manifest in these last times for you,

That Baby in the Manger was no accidental birth, no travesty. He was born to die. He came to save.

Hebrews 9:26 … now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Knowing what was coming, God so loved He nonetheless – with His free will – chose to form us in His image. Knowing what was coming He chose the nails for us.

Jesus Christ chose the nails. He chose the beating, He chose the mocking, He chose the bruising, He chose the humiliation. Jesus Christ chose to hang on a Cross between two felons. He chose to pour out His soul unto death. He chose the sponge filled with bitter gall. He chose to bear your sin and mine, and to “make intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:12). He chose to give Himself for you before creation itself. As the old African spiritual said,

What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, Oh my soul!”

Jesus chose the nails. He chose them long before He walked and talked among mankind. He chose them long before He was a baby in a manger. He chose the nails from eternity past. Will you not choose Him?

Glorify God For His Great Salvation

Luke 2:8-9 (KJV) And there were in the same country SHEPHERDS abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. [9] And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

The Shepherds watching their flocks were – I am told – raising sheep to be sacrificed at the Temple in Jerusalem. I forget which commentary I read this in, but it makes sense to me. Bethlehem is only about 5 miles from Jerusalem, and the pastures around Bethlehem (also called “The House of Bread”) were beautiful and fertile, great places for feeding sheep. The Shepherds were used to breeding and delivering sheep, and looking for lambs without spot or blemish, for no other could be used for the sacrifice of sin. God had said:

Exodus 12:5 (ESV) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep …

These Shepherds are keeping watch over their flocks by night. Imagine being in the dark with your companions. You can see movement. Maybe there was enough moon to see a little, or maybe not. Then suddenly the glory of the Lord shines round about them. A bright star appears in front of them. Pure energy! Pure light! God’s glory breaks forth, and night becomes day. And they were SORE AFRAID.

But the Angel said …

Luke 2:10-11 … FEAR NOT: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

That which God promised has come to pass. This is not a time for FEAR but for REJOICING. God has fulfilled His Word. He has kept His promise.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

That which the Angel told Mary …

Luke 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

has come true. God touched woman, and perfect Man was born.

Luke 1:35 … The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

The Lord has come to us, Oh Emmanuel! The Shepherds were used to taking their little lambs to the Temple to be slaughtered … was not this the Way of Salvation?

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

We have no peace in our world today because people are pursuing peace on their own terms. They seek peace through their efforts, through their governments, through their agencies. The angels sang of “peace on earth” because the Prince of Peace had arrived. The angels did not sing of peace in the Garden of Eden. There was peace there, it is sure, but that peace was soon voided. The Babe in the manger showed the angels to what lengths God would go to save His creation. There was no true possibility of peace on earth in any capacity prior to the Coming of God in Christ. Man was at war with God, and proved that warfare at every turn.

Peace is not to be found in ourselves, but in the imputed righteousness of Christ. There can never be peace on earth, good will toward men if Christ is not in the center of that peace.

unto YOU is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord

You Shepherds used to carry the Lambs to the Temple so people could be saved. You yourselves sacrificed Lambs to save yourselves. But this was only temporary. Now that which is perfect is come, so that which in part can pass away. That Baby in the manger was wrapped in the white flag of peace. On the mountain of Sinai God challenged the conscience of man and showed us that we can never have peace with Him through the keeping of Law. Christ came to us in a lowly manger, and through the Body of His flesh abolished the warfare between ourself and our conscience, and between ourself and God. He has, in Himself, made ..

Ephesians 2:15-17 … ONE NEW MAN, SO MAKING PEACE; {16} And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: {17} And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

If you have been saved, you are at peace with God. You are receivers of the New Covenant, a Covenant made with the precious Blood of Christ. We who are born again by faith in Christ are not like those under the old Levitical laws. God has written His Law in your hearts, O Christian, if you have believed in Him.

Hebrews 10:16-20 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; {17} And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. {18} Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. {19} Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, {20} By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

We are consecrated because of that Babe in the manger. We are forgiven because that Child became perfect Man, and bore our sins on Calvary’s tree.

Adrian Rogers once said “I can’t get too mad when someone says something bad about me. I’m just thankful he doesn’t know anything else”!

Go on, legalist, and work your way to Heaven through your toil and through the Law. I myself am quite content to stand with the angels and sing Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and good will toward men.

We who know that we are firmly in the family of God can always, and with all confidence:

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Glory be to God, salvation is all of God! I rest in that!

To Enjoy Salvation Run To The Savior

Luke 2:15-16 (KJV) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. [16] And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

When the Shepherds heard the Gospel message of the Christ they did not wait. They said “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see the thing that has came to pass”. They went. The Bible says “they went with haste”. They did not hesitate, but went with haste. What does this mean?

If you are a Shepherd you know that sheep cannot be driven. You do not “go with haste” with a flock of sheep. You go at THEIR pace. If the Shepherds went with haste, they dropped everything and walked away from their sheep. To see the Christ became the most important thing in the world for them. They went with haste.

The legendary Evangelist Dwight L. Moody wrote one time of staying with an orange producer. He had been preaching to a crowd in a nearby city, and a well to do orange producer invited him to stay at his mansion. He agreed. He went to the man’s home, knocked on the door, and was ushered into great luxury. The orange producer said “Whatever I have is yours – just help yourself”. Moody loved oranges, and got up every morning, walked outside of his palatial room, and picked fresh oranges from the trees in the groves all around the house. Moody spoke about this in a later sermon, saying:

When I wanted an orange I did not go to an orange tree and pray the oranges to fall in my pocket; but I walked up to a tree, reached out my hand, and took the oranges. He said “take” and I took. God says “there is My Son; take Him as your Savior. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.”

The Shepherds left their sheep, a means by which a person in Israel’s day could use to approach God. These were sacrificial sheep raised for the Temple, an old covenant work. The Lamb of God has been born. Him Who came in the Father’s Name to save us is born in Bethlehem. The Shepherds rightly left everything behind:

The old works salvation
The Law
Their possessions

and ran to see the Bread from Heaven laying in a manger in Bethlehem, the House of Bread. These Shepherds did not stop and clean themselves up. They have been in the field looking after sheep. They did not take the time to put on a new suit or a tie. No – one thought possessed them.

Let us go to Christ.
Let us see the Savior born for us!

Dr. R.G. Lee remarked … “… in such faith – a reckless faith – Jesus takes the keenest delight. There is nothing that so pleases Him as the most daring and reckless and romantic faith. He is never so joyed as when we trust Him with a mad abandon.”

and going to see the Christ, what did they do afterward?

Luke 2:17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

They told others. They shared what they saw – they experienced – with others. They made known abroad what they had seen. Have you seen Him? Have you experienced Christ? Will you not run with haste to Him today, giving Him all of your life? May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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